Hobbies Card Games & Gambling Top Ten Need to Know Facts About Casinos Share PINTEREST Email Print Brian Raisbeck / Getty Images Card Games & Gambling Casinos Gambling Strategies & Tips Sports Gambling Poker Blackjack By Al Moe Al W. Moe is an award-winning author and historian of Nevada casinos. He is a graduate of the University of Nevada-Reno Gaming Management Program. our editorial process Twitter Twitter Al Moe Updated June 28, 2018 Whether you are a complete casino newbie or have a few sessions under your belt, there are still a few things you should know about casinos before you head out to your next day of fun. Three-quarters of the United States now offer casino gambling of some type. That might mean the casinos have slots only, slots and poker, or full-scale gaming with slots and table games. Individual games offered depend on both the casino and the state. Casinos are not obligated to offer any specific game, but they will have what they deem most important to their bottom line. That means they may or may not have Keno, or poker, or roulette - you get the idea! There Is a Minimum Age That might not strike you as surprising, but there is a minimum age for gambling at all casinos. It varies by both state and casino, as most states mandate 21 as the minimum age to play in a casino, but some Native American casinos allow players to gamble at 18. In addition, racetrack wagering, lottery, and sometimes slots can be played at 18. Make sure you check first. Don't try the "Oh, I forgot my ID," because that gets you thrown out immediately. Yes! Even if you look well over 21, you may be barred from the casino floor if you have no ID. So, don't get mad when you can't play. It's Entertainment For years the US government stipulated that casinos could not advertise gambling. The casinos tried calling it adult entertainment, but that sounded like a strip joint, so they settled on Adult Style Entertainment and other terms, but it does actually come down to entertainment. Sure, you are gambling and risking money, but it is offered as entertainment. So, keep your head about you and know you can't risk you school tuition or your weekly lunch and haircut money. Set aside some cash that can be used the way you budget for movies and dinner. The Casino Will Pay You to Play Did you know the casino will pay you to play? Not always in cash, but casinos offer complimentary gifts for your action. The more you play (hours times average bet), the more you earn. Of course, no matter how much you play you'll probably think you deserve more, but you might as well get what's available. To do so, start by getting a player's club card as soon as you go to a new casino. A Bankroll Is Your Friend Players rarely think about building a bankroll, but doing so can be your best decision ever. If you can put aside a few dollars each week and save before hitting the casino, you'll have a less stressful time when you play, knowing that cash you are risking is entertainment money. If you are lucky enough to win, consider keeping the money you win in your gambling bankroll instead of spending it on other things. This will allow you to continue building your bankroll, so when the lean times come (and the cards always turn), you'll be in a position to take a portion of that saved cash for another trip to the casino. Put another way: don't spend every dollar you have saved on a single trip! You're Playing for Keeps That you are playing the casino games for keeps may sound silly, you already know that, but consider the unhappy facts of losing more than you had planned (which stinks). You can access cash in a lot of ways at the casino. You might get money at the ATM, through Global Cash (advance on a credit card for a substantial fee), by writing a check at the cashier's cage, or by convincing your friend or spouse you are good for the bucks, but try to avoid these things. Just because the cash is easy to get, doesn't mean you should access it! Stick to your prescribed bankroll and quit when you lose what you had planned to risk. That plan alone could be your best decision ever in a casino! The Drinks Are Not Free While many casinos (almost every single one in Nevada) offer free drinks for players, you need to be careful with alcohol consumption. Alcohol is likely to reduce your inhibition and any large intake is likely to impair your ability to make sound decisions. That means if you drink too much you really shouldn't be surprised if you make critical mistakes in play, or in managing your money. Be smart! You Have Some Rights Don't be worried about asking for help in a casino. The dealers will explain games, the Pit Bosses will explain rules and regulations and how they are rating your play, and slot Supervisors can point you to the games of your choice and help with many other things. If you don't understand a payoff or there is a dispute, you can always ask politely for an explanation. When that doesn't quite settle your senses, ask for the Manager on Duty, or the Casino Manager. Don't do it as a threat, simply say you'd like to talk to them. Believe it or not, they are there to help, to explain what happened and await their response. Be respectful, since this person probably has many years of experience in their job and in casinos. Casinos Have More Rights The fact that you have some rights in a casino shouldn't lead you to believe that you have more rights than they do. Casinos (as a group) may bar you from playing, may stop you from being rude and/or intimidating to any player or employee, and may remove you from the premises for drinking too much. Does that sound harsh? It's not. Would you yell at a restaurant server if your steak was cold? Would you get drunk and curse and pound the table? Of course not. If you do it in a casino, it is not alright! You will be asked to stop. If you refuse, you'll be asked to leave. Pretty simple. The casino has the right and will exercise it when necessary! Don't think that's fair? That's your right. It's also your right to get agitated, drunk, and disorderly. Of course, that's likely to get your arrested. Will the casino security officers hold you for the police? Absolutely. Get out of line, get time in jail. Ending a night of drinking by being an idiot and getting tossed in the can is even more expensive than the table games. Don't do it. The Casino Has the Edge Of course, you know the casino has the edge on every game. They wouldn't be there if they didn't, so don't be surprised when you occasionally get whipped. It happens. Try flipping a coin and see how often a 50-50 chance goes one way! A streak of six or seven happens regularly. You have to experience casino gambling as entertainment. If you manage to win, great! Save the cash for your next trip. And, you can choose games with a low house edge to improve your chance of winning. You Have a Lifetime to Gamble This is the most overlooked fact about casino gambling! You don't have to play every dime you have in your pocket, and you don't have to try to get even right now (which almost never works) because the casinos are mostly open 24/7. When you get tired, hungry, or have other things that need to be done, go home, it's over. But it's only over until you come back because you have your whole life to gamble. Don't ruin your life by playing recklessly. Enhance your life by playing for occasional entertainment and learn to quit, win or lose.